|Type||Christian media television network/production company|
|Availability||international; some shows carried by Trinity Broadcasting Network, FamilyNet, LeSEA, TCT, and Freeform, as well as through syndication|
by Pat Robertson
|Headquarters||Virginia Beach, Virginia|
|Owner||The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc.|
|Gordon P. Robertson (CEO)|
Rob Allman (news director)[better source needed]
|CBN Satellite Service (1977–1983)|
The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) is an American Christian media production and distribution organisation. Founded in 1960 by Pat Robertson, it produces the long-running TV series The 700 Club, co-produces the ongoing Superbook anime, and has operated a number of TV channels and radio stations.
One of the company's mainstays is The 700 Club, which uses a religious variety program that mixes sermons, interviews, and religious music (such as hymns and gospel). The name refers to a fundraising drive where Robertson successfully sought 700 viewers willing to contribute $10 a month to sustain the station. The 700 Club is the longest-running program in the variety format. Initially focused on devotional content, The 700 Club became increasingly political in the late 1970s, adding news segments.
Today, CBN News, provides news updates to The 700 Club and produces religious news programs such as CBN NewsWatch and Christian World News; it also produces a special hour-long block of prime time election coverage hosted by Robertson during American presidential and mid-term elections, airing on Freeform, which also carries The 700 Club and the half-hour talk show 700 Club Interactive. CBN also operates the CBN News Channel.[page needed] The company also produces a version of The 700 Club aimed at Spanish speaking Americans (Club 700 Hoy).
CBN Asia manages Operation Blessing International Relief and Development Corporation (OBI), an international relief and missionary effort, and has international programming, producing local programs including Solusi in Indonesia and From Heart to Heart in Thailand.
CBN has broadcast programs in over 70 languages.
CBN now serves mainly as a production company for The 700 Club, and four other syndicated shows: CBN NewsWatch, Christian World News, 700 Club Interactive and The Brody File, a news-analysis program hosted by political journalist David Brody.
Some of CBN's programs also air on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, Cornerstone Television, FamilyNet, LeSEA Broadcasting Corporation, TCT and Middle East Television, all of which are Evangelical Christian networks. The secular commercial stations that continue to air The 700 Club in syndication (along with Freeform) air CBN's annual telethon during the last week of January.
CBN was founded in 1960 in Portsmouth, Virginia by Pat Robertson, who had recently become a born-again Christian. CBN entered into the broadcasting industry in October 1961, when WYAH-TV in Portsmouth – the group's flagship station – signed on the air. Its programming was funded by small donations from individuals and local churches.
On July 7, 1968, CBN acquired the Neuvo Continente radio station in Bogota, Colombia (which was the first evangelical radio station in that country).
In 1969 the organisation established CBN Northeast, a simulcast network of five FM radio stations in upstate New York (WBIV in Wethersfield, WEIV in Ithaca, WJIV in Cherry Valley, WMIV in South Bristol and WOIV in DeRuyter). (The stations were previously the Rural Radio Network.)
CBN signed on WHAE-TV in Atlanta in June 1971. In January 1973, CBN purchased KBFI-TV in Dallas and changed its callsign to KXTX-TV. The ministry signed on its final station, WXNE-TV in Boston, in October 1977.
The ministry's broadcasting subsidiary, the Continental Broadcasting Network, ran its four over-the-air outlets as family-oriented independent stations – featuring a mix of religious programming (which took up most of its stations' Sunday schedules) and secular acquired programs, including westerns, sitcoms, drama series and children's programming. (This format that would be later adopted by the LeSEA Broadcasting Corporation when it began launching its own television stations in the 1970s.)
CBN transferred Neuovo Continente to Colombian pastor and broadcaster Ignacio Guevara on June 7, 1972.
The International 700 Club was first broadcast on November 7, 1976, in the Philippines. This 30 minute version of the US show was to go on to be broadcast in many other countries. This later became known as The 700 Club International.
On April 29, 1977, CBN launched a religious channel in the United States, the CBN Satellite Service.
Also that year, CBN University was founded. It was established for "the specific purpose of preparing leaders who would not only succeed in their professions but also advance as Christians equipped to effectively impact their world." Its first classes began in September 1978.
Affiliated charity Operation Blessing was set up on November 14, 1978. It was initially intended to help struggling individuals and families by matching their needs for items such as clothing, appliances, and vehicles with donated items from viewers of The 700 Club. Coordinating with local churches and other organizations, OBI expanded their matching funds program to also include food provisions and financial assistance for low-income families.
In June 1979, CBN joined George Otis Ministries to build a combined radio and TV station in Southern Lebanon. It then began to broadcast Christian programming 28 hours a week in Hebrew.
CBN relocated its main headquarters from Portland to Virginia Beach in 1980. About this time, CBN co-commissioned the first Superbook series of anime. This series was subsequently dubbed in many languages and distributed broadly across the world.
In June 1981,The 700 Club changed from being a religious talk show to having a news magazine format.
The CBN Satellite Service became the CBN Cable Network on September 1, 1981, and adopted a more secular programming format featuring a mix of family-oriented series and films while retaining some religious programs from various televangelists (mirroring the format used by CBN's broadcast stations). Its carriage grew to 10.9 million homes with a cable television subscription. The channel was notable for being one of the first cable channels to distribute its signal across the United States through satellite transmission (the third overall, after HBO and TBS). CBN Cable Network began airing a late night block of classic family oriented shows like You Bet Your Life with Groucho Marx, I Married Joan, and The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.
The upstate New York radio stations were sold in 1982.
On April 10, 1982, a Christian-based television station in South Lebanon, Hope TV, was donated to CBN, and became Middle East Television (METV). At this time METV broadcast from Marjayoun. In Israel, METV was known for broadcasting WWF wrestling that was not available on Israeli TV. The station broadcast news, sports, family entertainment, and religious programming.
In August 1988, the CBN Cable Network became The CBN Family Channel.
Three of the over-the-air TV stations were sold between 1984 and 1989. WXRI radio in Portsmouth was also sold in 1989.
On January 8, 1990, the national TV network was sold to related entity International Family Entertainment (IFE). IFE was majority owned by the Robertson family, with a minority interest held by John C. Malone. The sale was said[by whom?] to have been done because the channel had become too profitable for CBN to maintain its non-profit status. On September 15 that year, the newly sold channel rebranded as The Family Channel. It remained the most watched outlet for CBN programs. IFE went on to launch other TV channels in the US and UK, and planned to extend itself further.
1990 also saw CBN University become known as Regent University. CBN built luxury hotel The Founders Inn and Spa at the university campus, and this was completed in 1990. The name of the hotel refers to the US Founding Fathers.
The year 1990 was also when CBN programs began to be broadcast in the Soviet Union, and then in its successor states after they declared independence. It started with primetime specials, and later The 700 Club and Superbook. These broadcasts were followed by 190 rallies throughout the region that resulted in the establishment of 190 churches. Similar special projects were implemented in the Philippines and Romania in 1994.
On June 5, 1997, METV launched its 24-hour programming broadcast on the Israeli satellite Amos 2. This allowed it to reach a potential audience of 200 million people in 15 nations including Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Cyprus.
IFE was sold to News Corporation later in June 1997. At this time, The Family Channel was the US's ninth largest cable network, reaching 67 million homes. The terms of the sale stipulated that the channel continue carrying The 700 Club in perpetuity. Pat Robertson said that "We expect to continue to benefit from The Family Channel's... growing family entertainment franchise." (The Family Channel was renamed Fox Family Channel in August 1998. The channel was then sold to The Walt Disney Company in 2001, which renamed it as ABC Family, later renaming it again to Freeform.)
On March 24, 1999, the inaugural live broadcast of The 700 Club Asia aired.
CBN India was established in 2000. It has gone on to produce a number of TV shows in Hindi, Tamil and Bengali.
CBN's Dallas TV station was sold in 2000. METV was sold to LeSEA Broadcasting in July 2001.
In 2001, youth-oriented show, One Cubed, began in Asia. This later screened as One Cubed International in the US.
In September 2001, saw the launch of Living the Life, a new 30-minute magazine style show for women.
In October 2002, CBN launched CBN NewsWatch, a new half-hour weekend program.
Also in 2002, Le Club 700 began for people in Francophone Africa.
In 2004, Club 400 Hoy began as a daily program for Spanish speakers throughout the Americas.
CBN Europe was established in the UK. In October 2004, The 700 Club With Paul and Fiona began airing for UK audiences. It was hosted by Paul Jones and Fiona Hendley Jones. It was later dubbed in Dutch.
In 2005, kids program, A.S.T.I.G. (All Set to Imitate God), was launched by CBN Asia.
On April 30, 2007, First Landing, a CBN and Regent University produced movie about the English settlement of Jamestown, aired on ABC Family and various broadcast stations across the United States.
On April 29, 2008, the 24-hour CBN News Channel was launched as an online-only channel.
In November 2008, a new CBN Radio service was launched.
New TV program 700 Club Interactive began on May 25, 2009.
In 2011, a newly rebooted Superbook series began to air in various countries, commissioned by CBN.
700 Club Nigeria began in about 2013.
New program Oyayi began to be made by CBN Asia in 2016.
On October 1, 2018, the CBN News Channel was relaunched. It was now made available over-the-air via 15 stations in the United States, as well as continuing online. It was based in Virginia Beach, and had bureaus in Washington DC and Jerusalem.
During the Trump administration (2017-2021), CBN hosted events at Trump properties, paying at least $170,000. Subsequently, CBN obtained access to the White House that far larger news outlets typically received, and were given frequent exclusive interviews with senior administration staff, including Trump himself.
In 2020, music program CBN Asia Reverb began, which was later renamed Reverb Worship PH.
In October 2021, Club 400 Hoy was relaunched as a weekly US-focused program.
Some of this info comes from The 700 Club, which lists The 700 Club hosts, as well as CBN News reporters, as well as former hosts of both.
In the following tables, former CBN-owned stations are arranged alphabetically by state and community of license.
|City of license / market||Station||Channel
|Years owned||Current ownership status|
|Atlanta||WHAE-TV/WANX-TV **||46 (19)||1971–1984||CBS affiliate, WGCL-TV, owned by Gray Television|
|Boston||WXNE-TV **||25 (31)||1977–1987||Fox affiliate, WFXT, owned by Cox Media Group|
(sale to Standard General pending)
|Dallas–Fort Worth||KXTX-TV 1||33 (32)||1973||CW affiliate, KDAF owned by Nexstar Media Group|
|KXTX-TV 1, 2||39 (30)||1973–2000||Telemundo owned-and-operated (O&O)|
|WYAH-TV||27 (50)||1961–1989||CW affiliate, WGNT, owned by the E. W. Scripps Company|
In addition, CBN planned to build a television station in Richmond, Virginia, WRNX on UHF channel 63. However, CBN sold the construction permit for that station to National Capitol Christian Television in 1982, which signed on the station as WTLL in 1984. That station was eventually sold and in 1986, converted into secular independent station WVRN-TV, which shut down in 1988.
|Market||Station||Years owned||Current ownership|
|Cherry Valley - Albany, NY||WJIV–101.9||1969–1982||owned by Christian Broadcasting System, Ltd.|
|DeRuyter - Syracuse, NY||WOIV–102.7||1969–1982||WCIS-FM, owned by Family Life Ministries|
|Ithaca, New York||WEIV–103.7||1969–1982||WQNY, owned by Saga Communications|
|South Bristol - Rochester, NY||WMIV–95.1||1969–1982||WAIO, owned by iHeartMedia|
|Wethersfield - Buffalo, NY||WBIV–107.7||1969–1982||WLKK, owned by Audacy, Inc.|
|WXRI–105.3 **||1962–1989||WNOH, owned by iHeartMedia|